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Whistler Blackcomb outlines refund rules

Resort stakeholders plan response to sudden closure of mountains and three-week pause for indoor dining
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Whistler Blackcomb closed unexpectedly on March 29 due to public health orders.

Whistler Blackcomb (WB) has laid out eligibility for refunds in the wake of a three-week closure put in place yesterday, March 29, by B.C.'s Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

In a letter, Whistler Blackcomb says Epic Coverage Terms and Conditions may apply if you booked a priority reservation day before Dec. 15, 2020 to ski or ride between March 30 and April 4. 

If you qualify, Vail Resorts will automatically refund you with no actions required. 

"If you used a 2019/20 pass holder credit towards the purchase of your 2020/21 pass, you may be eligible to apply all or a portion of the 2019/20 Pass Holder credit towards the purchase of a season pass for the 2021/22 ski and ride season," the letter says. 

The closure of WB is part of a three-week "circuit breaker" Dr. Bonnie Henry announced yesterday. It's in effect today until April 19. While WB declined to say whether they might reopen after that date, the letter says pass holders will receive an email about eligibility for the roll over refund after the Resort Closure & Cancellation refund is processed in mid-May. 

"If you also booked a Ski and Ride School lesson, our team will be addressing your reservation and refunding unused lessons," the letter says. "No further action is required."

Meanwhile, resort stakeholders met on Tuesday morning to discuss the sudden closure, which also included an end to indoor dining at restaurants and liquor-serving establishments. 

Eric Griffith, president of the Restaurant Association of Whistler (RAW), said there's been a range of emotions in the local restaurant scene, but everyone is jumping into action. 

"Our group is focused this week on dealing with operations, making sure everyone is taken care of, and deciding what everyone is going to do for the next few weeks," he said. "We'll be meeting and communicating regularly and the biggest thing is we're supporting each other." 

The province said one of the major reasons it ordered Whistler Blackcomb closed was because of a surge in COVID-19 cases in Whistler, and instances of the P1 Brazil variant. Henry said that visitors were catching the virus in Whistler and bringing it back to their home communities. 

However, Vancouver Coastal Health has not returned repeated requests from Pique for more details on the current number of COVID-19 cases and statistics on variants in the resort.